The Secret of Change

change 7I was sitting in my office with a patient of mine the other day having a conversation I find myself having frequently.  She was a long time smoker who I had diagnosed with severe COPD (the lung disease caused by damage from smoking).  She had been hospitalized and was close to needing oxygen.  Yet, in spite of my warnings and castigations, she had broken her brief period of abstinence and was back up to “only a half pack a day”.  She was staring at the floor unable to look me in the eye like a child caught misbehaving by their parents. Continue reading “The Secret of Change”

Not losing weight with exercise?

You can't out exercise a bad dietHopefully, many of you have embarked on my 4×4 fitness challenge as many at my work have (shout out to Erika D.  for being the Carroll Hospital leader so far!).  If you haven’t , it’s not too late – click here.  People have already started to see improvements in their fitness levels.  Many can now pound out pushups and burpees in week 3 which they couldn’t do so well in week 1.  In spite of their hard work there is a recurring issue that people bring up to me all the time with respect to exercise and weight loss.  People often complain that, in spite of exercising regularly, they are unable to lose weight.  The root of this problem lies in the way that exercise affects appetite. Continue reading “Not losing weight with exercise?”

Why You Can’t Be Trusted


There is a principle in the world of weight loss that is essential to helping you understand why people are unsuccessful at losing weight.  Human beings are extremely inaccurate in estimating their caloric intake.  By human beings, I mean you.  I also mean me, but I already read this so, I’m directing this to you.  I often hear people tell me that they “watch what they eat” or that they “eat healthy” and yet they cannot lose weight.   When pressed, they are almost never able to tell me exactly what this means.  This creates one of the greatest obstacles to weight loss.  People have absolutely no idea how many calories they are consuming.    Continue reading “Why You Can’t Be Trusted”

Mediterranean Tuna Salad

Mediterranean tuna salad

My ongoing and epic saga to to cut carbs and increase protein continues of late.  I have previously discussed why low carb diets are effective (Maybe A Calorie Isnt. Just a Calorie) and why getting enough protein is so difficult and important (Pro Protein).  Check out those posts to get the dish on those topics.  Speaking of a dish, I have decided to substitute salad with tuna and feta for my lunch.  This is a great option for many reasons.   Continue reading “Mediterranean Tuna Salad”

Skinny Fat

no moreSkinny fatI came across an interesting phrase that my sister-in-law used recently.  She referred to some of her friends as “skinny fat”.  The term, she explained, referred to people who were a healthy weight but did absolutely nothing to improve their physical fitness.  They were skinny on the outside but ‘fat’ on the inside.  This raises an important distinction that is essential to grasp if you want to not just be a healthy weight but actually be a healthy person.  There is a difference between body weight and health.  While it is not possible to be obese and healthy (see my prior post The Myth of the Healthy Obese) it is possible to be normal weight and unhealthy.  For this reason it is essential for your health that exercise and proper nutrition (not just calorie restriction) be a regular and central part of your weight loss plan.  Your goal should not just be to lose weight, it should be to become a healthier person.  Losing the weight is not enough. Continue reading “Skinny Fat”

Easy to do workouts

Dear-Burpees-I-hate-you.-I-love-you.

I think it is clear both from experience and reams of medical research that successful long term weight loss just isn’t likely to be successful unless one commits to both diet and exercise.  It is so important that I dedicated 1/3 of my book to explaining exercise physiology in layman’s terms and putting forth the evidence for the most effective type of exercise.  While the concept of exercise is nice in theory, in practice, it is much more difficult.  Many people just don’t know where to begin.   Continue reading “Easy to do workouts”

Why Does a Pulmonologist Care About Obesity?

Pickwickian Syndrome--Joe-The-Fat-Boy-Probably the question I get asked most frequently when people find out that I wrote a book on weight loss is, ‘Did you used to be overweight?’.  The premise of the question is not unfounded.  There are many people who, having been successful at significant weight loss, want to share their experience and secrets with others.  If you’re curious, the answer is no.  Aside from a brief pudgy pre-pubescent awkward phase, I have never been overweight (adolescence is just cruel). Continue reading “Why Does a Pulmonologist Care About Obesity?”

The ‘Magic’ of Whole Grains

smoke-mirrors-coverAn interesting fact of life is that when you’re eating a bowl of cereal, the nonsense on the box becomes some of the most interesting reading material you can find.  I’m not sure why this is.  The other day I was engrossed in a colorful maze on the back of my kids cereal box when I noticed a banner touting the fact that this very box contained oodles of whole grains.  Isn’t that fantastic!  This instantly inspired images in my brain of golden wheat blowing in the breeze.   Continue reading “The ‘Magic’ of Whole Grains”

The Myth of the ‘Healthy’ Obese

annals obesity

I was recently watching the stand-up comedy of John Pinette. For those of you who don’t know of him, he’s mostly famous for his comedy related to his obesity. In his recent performance he described how he went to the doctor for a checkup and got a “clean bill of health” based on his bloodwork and other tests.

Continue reading “The Myth of the ‘Healthy’ Obese”

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